How Brands Are Using Tumblr As A Social Media Channel

October 13, 2010, 3:47 pm by

With social media, “what’s next” is a question that we constantly need to be asking ourselves. For companies still trying to get a handle on Facebook and Twitter, it may not be time yet to start thinking about something new. But, for brands and companies who are looking for new ways to expand their presence throughout social media, diversify the communication and engagement methods they have with their audience, it may be time to start thinking about and using Tumblr.

A micro-blogging platform launched in 2007, Tumblr allows users to easily create and customize a “tumbleblog” in order to publish text, photos and videos, and aggregate links often around a particular theme. That doesn’t sound like anything new, you say? Well, what makes Tumblr unique is that not only is it an incredibly simple blogging platform (you could be up and running in minutes), but it also integrates the social features of Twitter and Facebook. Users can easily find and follow other Tumblrs, like and even reblog interesting posts. As a blogging platform, Tumblr provides far more control than Twitter or Facebook, effectively allowing brands to become curators of the web.

As most marketers now know, social media is a powerful tool for publishing digital content, creating a web of influence, driving traffic and awareness and engaging our audience. For companies and brands, a Tumblr blog can provide a new outlet to publish and a new way to engage. And, as Tumblr’s audience grows faster and faster – currently growing at 30,000 new sign-ups per day – it will become an increasingly important channel for brands and companies to include in their arsenal.

So how exactly are brands using Tumblr?

Offering Discounts And Rewards: In March, online photography store Photojojo offered to discount one of their Fuji cameras by 10 cents every time one of their readers reblogged a particular post. The result? The post, was re-blogged 1,368 times throughout the day generating sales as well as brand exposure. Photojojo have continued to reward their readers by creating a “List Of Awesome” which promotes the followers that recommend them on Tumblr Tuesdays.

Providing Behind The Scenes Info: Anne Taylor Loft uses their Tumblr, to highlight the things which inspire their style. Rather than going at it alone they wisely teamed up with Jessica Schroeder, an established fashion blogger with an already built-in following on Tumblr, to guest blog during their launch. Since then they have continued to regularly feature guest bloggers, allowing them to quickly generate readers and connect with a decidedly younger and trendier consumer.

Becoming A Thought Leader: Huggies has gone and done something that no brand has ever done before and given babies a voice. As a company committed to the needs of lil’ ones, Huggies is rather creatively using their Tumblr, Highchair Critics, to build a unique and fun resource for parents – or as they like to put it, create a “one stop shop for all things baby – by babies!”. With humorous baby blogger personalities and links to the best baby Internet memes, they have created a fun and useful place for parents to find relevant information.

Although Tumblr has considerably less users than Facebook or Twitter, there is also much less of a brand presence, a good thing for companies who are not afraid to stand out by trying new things. Those brands that have established a Tumblr presence so far have successfully been able to curate relevant brand information for their consumers, build relationships, reward loyalty and even drive traffic to their websites.

With Tumblr approaching the 40 million visitors per month mark, we certainly expect to see more brands giving Tumbling a go.

Have you seen seen any other brands using Tumblr in a unique way? Well don’t be shy, tell us about them below.

Want to learn how to use tumblr? Get our free Tumblr Tutorial here.

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  • Michelle

    Great post! I’ve heard of Tumblr and was wondering if it would be a better platform for creating a blog rather than blogger, but you have addressed many questions I have posed in my mind! Thanks!

  • Jeffrey

    Great rundown on Tumblr. It’s pretty clear why it is gaining traction so quickly with users – it’s dead simple to use and it looks fantastic. I’m interested to see how brands choose to play here, it seems a bit more structured than other social platforms.

  • ambreen11

    Great infographics, thats the attitude, use tumblr to promote your brand or product as an
    alternative marketing channel, never use it as your main site/blog.